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What do telescopes mean for astronomy?

What do telescopes mean for astronomy?

visit meteorology It is something special for many amateur astronomers. In a large dome – protected from wind and weather – there is a huge telescope that makes it possible to see the stars. Such as Foreman, more accurate observatories, astronomers use it to observe the night sky, but they no longer have to look through it.

It works differently in Urania Observatory in Viennawho visited Futurezone. The People’s Observatory It is located in the city center, next to Vienna’s Danube Canal, and therefore offers only limited opportunities to see the night sky. The light pollution in the city is too big to research. They are educational institutions that anyone interested can visit. We have an astronomer out there Ruth Grützbauch To know the importance of telescopes To talk about today’s research (Here you can find the interview in video form).

Good conditions for looking at the universe

For astronomers to actually be able to work with observatories, they must meet a number of requirements. It should be far from cities, for example in the mountains or in the desert. In addition, the place should have a suitable climate with few storms and low weather turbulence. Therefore, the largest research observatories are located in the desert Chile, in a Hawaii on Mauna Kea and in US state of Arizona. Conditions there are very good.

Unlike a public observatory, where you can still look through a telescope yourself, a computer does much of the work at research observatories. The classic “look-through” is replaced by datasheets with numbers. “Most of the feedback is automated. It means you’re not there. You sit in the office, you receive data via email and that’s it,” Grützbauch explains. together Florian Freestetter you talk about Podcast “The Universe” About the universe and current research. She is also managing the project.public spaceInflatable mobile planetarium.

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The Very Large Telescope in Chile consists of 4 individual constellations with a height of 8 meters

Monitoring time is expensive

Working with data doesn’t sound quite as exciting, says Grützbauch, but seeing the data for the first time is as exciting as looking through a telescope for yourself. During her time as an astronomer, she worked with Very Large Telescope (VTL) I worked in Chile. “The area there is amazing. Mountains and the Atacama Desert – this is the driest region in the world. Nothing grows there, not a piece of grass. It looks like the surface of Mars. “There you think you’re on another planet,” the astronomer says, describing her experience.

Instead of a large telescope, there are 4 individual telescopes 8 meters high connected to each other. This makes it one of the largest in the world and enables observations that humans would not be able to make without the aid of detectors and computers. Begins to adjust the telescope. There are separate telescope operators for massive systems like the VLT. They point telescopes at the thing to watch in the sky. The reason for this is that the time of observation with large telescopes is so expensive that one cannot afford to make mistakes.

Ruth Grützbauch is an astronomer and presents information about the universe in the podcast “Das Universum”

Telescopes (much) make the invisible visible

If set correctly, observation can begin. “We let the light fall on the detector for a longer period of time so we collect more and more light, as with a digital camera,” says Grützbauch, explaining how it works. Everything that came to Earth through light is visible – and that’s too much. “A telescope can make invisible light visible, like a kind of thermal imaging camera. We see wavelengths and colors with these detectors that cannot be seen by the human eye,” Grotzbauch explains.

This is why telescopes are indispensable to astronomy – even if astronomers like Grützbauch no longer look through them themselves. “We don’t really have any other way to study the universe than in astronomy. For everything outside of our solar system, the telescope is the instrument with which we have acquired our knowledge of the universe. It is to me the only instrument for unraveling the mysteries of the universe.”

But this also has its limits. On the one hand there are phenomena such as dark matterIt does not emit any light and therefore will be invisible even if it is hung right in front of our noses. The universe is also invisible from the earth to infinity. “We have the visible universe and more universe around it, but the light hasn’t had time to reach us, so we can’t see it yet and we have to wait,” says Grützbauch. But the visible universe will Every second 300,000 km Bigger, because that’s the speed of light – so there will be more and more new objects in the future waiting to be discovered by astronomers.